No.21 - July 2004

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Guild will be held at 8pm, Monday 26 July 2004 at the Eley Park Community Centre, Eley Road, Blackburn South.

Any notice of motion and nominations for the Committee must be in the hands of the Secretary seven (7) days prior to the Annual General Meeting. All Committee positions will be declared vacant and nominations are called for the position(s) of:

President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Liaison Officer and six general Committee members.

Supper will be served following the meeting.

Sword Legislation

The new legislation concerning ownership of swords came into effect on July 1, 2004. We are pleased to see that it is considerably less severe than was first proposed last year. The full details are contained in the Victorian Government Gazette No. G25 Thursday 17 June 2004. This can be found online at www.gazette.vic.gov.au.

Basically the legislation prohibits sale to, or possession of swords by people who are not members of specified exempt groups.

No registration or licensing is required, but a preson seeking to purchase a sword must be able to demonstrate to the vendor they belong to one of the groups, occupations or activities that membership of which entitles the person to an exemption. Vendors are required to keep sales records for three years.

THe exemptions apply to members of recongised collecting groups such as the Guild, and to museums; theatre, television, film or opera companies; participants in the sport of fencing; participants in the sport of singlestick fencing; members of religions whose practice requires swords; members of the armed forces; former membres of the armed forces if their sowrds were obtained in the course of official duties; members of the RSL using swords for display or ceremonial activites; members of the Masons; participants in Scottish Highland Dancing; a person who has inherited a maximum of two swords; members of the Australian National Wushu and Tai Chi Association Inc.; Any person in possession of a sword if that sword, immediately prior to the commencement of this order has never had a sharpened edge or edges and an active member of the Scout Association of Australia.

For Guild members the exemption allows -

"Bringing swords in Victoria causing swords to be brought or sent into Victoria selling our purchasing swords displaying or advertising swords for sale, possessing using or carrying swords for the purpose of studying and collecting swords with an historical or cultural significance."

The requirements for secure storage are -

"(a) stored in a manner calculated to ensure that the sword

(i) is not readily accessible to a person other than the person seeking to rely on the exemption, and

(ii) is not available for possession, carriage or use by a person who is not themselves a holder or an approved issued by the Chief Commissioner of Police or does not fall within another class of exempt persons:

(b) when being transported between the usual place of storage of the sword and places which the sword is legitimately used, the purpose of which is the subject of this exemption, stored in a manner calculated to ensure that the sword is not readily accessible to a person other than the person seeking to rely on the exemption and that the sword is concealed from plain sight during any such transporting.

For the purpose of this order a class or classes or persons...does not include who is a prohibited person as defined in the Act."

The new regulations also require that -

"A person seeking to reply on an exemption must permit a member of the police force to inspect his or her storage requirement at any reasonable time."
Overall it can be seen that these new regulations are directed at the casual purchaser rather than people with legitimate interests. But it is possible for a person who is a not a member of the exempt groups occupations or activitites to obtain a personal exemption by applying to the Chief Commissioner.

The Guild was one of the groups that actively lobbied the Government when the new legislation was announced last year and this has resulted in a sensible solution to the problem of illegal use. It is a good result.

Licence Renewals

We must remind you that although the 21 day period cited on LSB forms for compliance has been waived our records show that there is an increasing number of people who are being tardy in completing and returning the Guild's form C, or have delayed in sending ednorsed renewal forms to LSB. Please make every effort to complete the process in a timely fashion otherwise it may place undue strain on our dealings with the LSB.

© Copyright 2005 The Antique and Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria. All rights reserved.